Supporting someone who is grieving

If someone you care about has lost a loved one, you can help them through the grieving process. However, it is important to remember that your support must be ongoing and lasting because the pain often intensifies a few months after the loss. It is necessary to be present at this time. Keep in mind that each of us tries to do our best, there is no right or wrong way. The important thing is to be there. Be aware that talking, again and again, about what they are going through is essential to the grieving person, and will help them through the healing process.

What you can do to help:

  1. Share the sorrow. Allow them, even encourage, them to talk about their feelings of loss and share memories of the deceased. Listen. Don’t pressure them.
  2. Don’t offer false comfort. It doesn’t help the grieving person when you say “it was for the best” or “you’ll get over it in time.” Instead, offer a simple expression of sorrow and take time to listen.
  3. Offer practical help. Baby-sitting, cooking and running errands are all ways to help someone who is in the midst of grieving. Just having someone around who is generous but not intrusive can help.
  4. Be patient. Remember that it can take a long time to recover from a major loss. Make yourself available to talk.
  5. Encourage professional help when necessary. Don’t hesitate to recommend professional help when you feel someone is experiencing too much pain to cope alone. You might make a list of professionals who specialize in grief, trauma or major life transitions.